Shropshire 25 - Whitchurch - Storm Desmond and Storm Eunice / a Jensen Intercepter/several scrambling bikes ,/ a Stag and a wedding car

February 18th 2022
Published: February 19th 2022
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It's not often you wake up in the morning and know that you are going to have odd day doing something different .

Today was the day Ziggy would be going for her first MOT. That dreaded test that comes up every year when a car reaches three years old. The time when you know the car is new enough not to need anything done but you still worry . It was time to take Ziggy over the border in England for the test . Then depending on results I could tax her for another year,

It was going to be a nice run out . Not too far. Not too taxing and wouldnt take any planning . I had little in mind apart from hoping for a dry day. Hoping to pick up some breakfast and a welcome coffee . I could listen to the radio as I travelled and knew it hopefully would not be a bad day . A day of little expectation . You know the sort of day. Nothing planned . Nothing in mind . It would be an ordinary day .

Well days are never ordinary are they? Something always comes along and spoils /enhances plans . Sometimes it becomes a day of the unexpected .

Storm Desmond had hit our country a day or two ago . A noisy night spent listening to the wind howling around the roof . Global warming is certainly giving us a run for its money as we are suffering more stormy weather than ever . Not many trees down and not much devastation but more is on the way . Storm Eunice is on her way . The Gulf Stream is pushing this next storm across our country from east to west during the next few days . As I drove over the border into England I was grateful Eunice wouldnt hit us until the next day . Schools were closing early , trains were being cancelled and we were being warned to stay at home and not travel so today was a good day to get the car work done . The calm before the storm which would be Eunice .

I arrived early and wandered around the trading estate waiting for the garage to open . I was not expecting to find anything . Perhaps a butty van where I could buy some breakfast but nothing was to be found . Instead I was surprised to find a unit surrounded by interesting vehicles . I had driven down the wrong road and ended up in a cul de sac . I do like a good car . I have loved cars and motoring since I first sat on the wall near our home writing down car registrations or makes of cars as they drove past me. My love of driving and cars grew as I passed my test and was let loose on British roads. So driving in this corner my eyes were always going to be drawn to the interesting collection of cars . A few visits in the past had taken us to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu , the bike museum in the Midlands , the Mercedes Benz museum in Stuttgart and the French Automobile Museum in Mulhouse . So what I was seeing freely made me park up and walk back for a closer look .

I stood in front of a silver Jensen Intercepter . It is not every day you stand in front of such an iconic car. Not many were made and it was described as a grand touring car. Handbuilt in West Bromwich near Birmingham . Produced between 1966 and 1976 the car had been designed by Carrozzeria Touring in Italy . It had those Italian lines and beauty. She was beautiful - an Italian car could only be female. . As I took photographs I heard a voice behind me . " I can see you like the car " Well I did like it very much . It felt a timeless car and I couldnt stop smiling . I could imagine the V8 engine roaring away . I wasnt going to get the chance to hear it running though and had to make do with just admiring her. Jensen had fallen on hard times due to a world wide recession and the company was put into recievership . Production sadly ended in 1976. They dont make cars like that anymore .

Next to the Jensen was a wedding car . A shiny blue old fashioned car . I had no idea what it was and wondered how much the company charged to hire the car out . I pondered on how many brides had sat in those seats on their way to their weddings . The wedding car was next to a tractor . That was in the process of being renovated . There seemed to be a wide range of vehicles parked up and I felt priviledged to be able to see them free . It was becoming a day of memories . Things that had been put to the background and forgotten . Somehow looking at these cars was taking me back years and I was remembering things I had long forgotten .

As the time was ticking away I found myself standing in front of the next fascinating vehicle a Triumph Stag with a soft black leather top . My old boss in the 1970's had one of these . A pale blue one . This was not that insipid blue colour . My manager must have purchased his new in the 70's. Described as a Sports Tourer 2 + 2 it went out of production in around 1978. Another Italian designed car. The car was described as luxury and for something that was designed as an experient took the driving world by storm . At least it did in the driving world of my manager . I had been taken back around 40 years .

Inside the garage were scrambling bikes . All beautifully maintained and some in a state of repair . They took me back to Bank Holidays in the 1970;s . Trips out to Beeston to watch scrambling . The bikes would climb the hill around the castle . Today that would not be allowed and scrambling was long forgotten in Beeston .

To finish it off a Porsche . You cannot not like a Porsche . A silver beauty . She was inside the garage and in the process of restoration . I stopped and chatted about bikes and about cars . My free viewing of so many cars was really enjoyable . I did not want to tear myself away from them but I had to as the time was creeping ever closer to my appointment time of 9am.

I had to tear myself away and walked back to Ziggy . She was taken into the garage whilst I drank coffee and chatted . Before long she was back with me and she had passed her test with flying colours . No advisories . Nothing to worry about for another year . I dont need tyres for the time being . The brakes are all OK .

Time to drive home with thoughts of those cars and bikes and more thoughts of holidays . How about a trip to Le Mans ? That is on our way across France . We always drive past so perhaps 2022 is the year to call in and see what Le Mans has to offer . When I got home the route was checked and we could visit Le Mans on the way down France or even on the way home . The city much of which is medieval looked fascinating and the cathedral inviting . So cars today had added yet another place to visit when we finally get over the Channel to FRance . I am sure that our list of places to visit is going to grow over time .


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